Why do people think finance is intangible?
If anything finance is one of the most tangible things there is.
What you have is a bunch of people with expectations, worries and plans (they’re the customers) putting money into real world things (like fast-growing companies that hire people, successful companies that pay an income, affordable housing, bridges and telecommunications, governments even).
Over time those real world things deliver money back to people so they can pay for things they need – a decent standard of living through old age and ill health – and things they want – stuff that helps them enjoy life before old age or ill health set in.
Is that intangible?
You can’t hold finance your hand. It’s not an iPhone, the latest athleisure wear or a sourdough avocado bagel.
But what you hold in your hand – or more often in the cloud – is a bit of paper confirming your share in the people who make devices, clothes and food.
That’s pretty tangible.
The problem is that most finance companies make this incredibly important stuff intangible. They do it because they’ve always explained them using pretty boring bits of paper.
This means that most people with a financial product tend to receive regular communications that list a few numbers (hopefully quite big) and a suspiciously large amount of text (usually very small). I’m thinking mainly about savings and investment products here but you could apply it to just about any part of finance.
Has this type of statement ever captured anyone’s imagination? Has anyone ever read their investment statement and said “wow, I didn’t know that”?
It doesn’t have to be like this.
Putting money away for tomorrow shouldn’t be about receiving unreadable electronic bits of paper.
It could mean being a part of some of the world’s great stories – the rise and fall of companies, of product success and failure, and of trying to tackle the biggest problems of our time.
It could be about how you travel to work, why you still buy and send birthday cards, the impact the food you eat has on the world, the music you listen to and why adults can’t stop watching movies with comic book characters in them
Isn’t that more interesting than your last statement?
It’s not hard to make finance appear tangible. It just needs a bit of imagination.
If that sounds like your thing we’d love to help.